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(IT World)   No, HealthCare.gov doesn't require half a billion lines of code. Duh   (itworld.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, cubic centimetres, half  
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2216 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 May 2014 at 11:51 AM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-28 10:14:26 AM  
In the end, s/he guesstimates the total lines of code behind HealthCare.gov to be somewhere between 5 and 15 million. Again, way less than half a billion, in any case.

The rest is used by the NSA to watch your every move. Nothing to see here citizen; move along.
 
2014-05-28 10:26:18 AM  
Obvious tag get death paneled or something?
 
2014-05-28 11:54:14 AM  
Christ, even sprawling software suites I've worked on never came that close.

Who claimed that? Was it the same guys that thought a trillion dollar coin would have to be made out of a trillion dollars worth of platinum?
 
2014-05-28 11:54:22 AM  
Stunning revelation: HealthCare.org has 11 lines of ASP.net code.
 
2014-05-28 11:55:51 AM  
Of course not.  That's why we need to fix it with another 2 billion lines of code.
 
2014-05-28 12:00:52 PM  
Half a billion lines of code.  NO.
Cost taxpayers half a billion dollars. YES.
 
2014-05-28 12:01:41 PM  

qorkfiend: Stunning revelation: HealthCare.org has 11 lines of ASP.net code.


I was wondering what the 1 Visual Basic file that has 25 lines of code does that was not worth translating into another language.
 
2014-05-28 12:02:03 PM  
What are the odds the 'anonymous specialist' did a recursive wget on the website, and then counted lines of HTML as a line of code, including boilerplate added on every page.
 
2014-05-28 12:05:29 PM  
odds are 1:2 vladdy
 
2014-05-28 12:09:27 PM  
Dennis Nedry not impressed
 
2014-05-28 12:20:22 PM  

dukeblue219: qorkfiend: Stunning revelation: HealthCare.org has 11 lines of ASP.net code.

I was wondering what the 1 Visual Basic file that has 25 lines of code does that was not worth translating into another language.


Best explanation I've seen is the counts are from a automated process that doesn't always identify the code correctly. So that ASP.net or VB code could easily be misidentified Java.
 
2014-05-28 12:23:32 PM  

Obbi: Who claimed that?


I don't know about half a billion.  I know that the "liberal rag" NYT wrote a doomsday front page feature article during launch who sourced an "softare expert", who had apparently written   a GUI interface using VisualBasic to track an IP address and came up with some laughably absurd number, which the wingnut right blogosphere jumped on.
 
2014-05-28 12:26:42 PM  
"As you can see, two-thirds (64%) of the code behind HealthCare.gov is Java. Another 14% is HTML markup"

HyperTextMarkupLanguage markup?  They're also using JavaScript Script, XSD Definitions, XML Language :-)
 
2014-05-28 12:27:32 PM  
The article lost me at "mostly Java". Ugh. Why people continue to use that low-performing disease vector is beyond me.
 
2014-05-28 12:33:14 PM  

SpocksEars: The article lost me at "mostly Java". Ugh. Why people continue to use that low-performing disease vector is beyond me.


"Each language has its purpose, however humble. Each language expresses the Yin and Yang of software. Each language has its place within the Tao."

-Geoffrey James

//"But do not program in COBOL if you can avoid it."
 
2014-05-28 12:33:49 PM  
How long would it take the development team who worked on Healthcare.gov (no idea how many people) to write 500 million lines of code? Would that even have been physically possible?

And of course, the count of "lines" of code is kinda meaningless:  http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2013/10/healthcare_g o v_problems_what_5_million_lines_of_code_really_means.html
 
2014-05-28 12:37:53 PM  

SpocksEars: The article lost me at "mostly Java". Ugh. Why people continue to use that low-performing disease vector is beyond me.


So Java's made a comeback in databases/Big Data ever since Hadoop decided to use it.  It's actually a fairly standard control plane language now.
 
2014-05-28 12:49:02 PM  

dukeblue219: qorkfiend: Stunning revelation: HealthCare.org has 11 lines of ASP.net code.

I was wondering what the 1 Visual Basic file that has 25 lines of code does that was not worth translating into another language.


That's actually what populates the database. The rest of the site is just window dressing.
 
2014-05-28 12:57:46 PM  
Why is this an issue in the first place?
 
2014-05-28 01:10:32 PM  
You know anybody who can network 8 Connection Machines and debug 2 million lines of code for what Obama bid for this job? Because if you can I'd really love to see you try.

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-05-28 01:22:25 PM  
FBI is investigating Covered Oregon.   Where did that 300 Million Dollars go?
 
2014-05-28 01:26:01 PM  

SpocksEars: The article lost me at "mostly Java". Ugh. Why people continue to use that low-performing disease vector is beyond me.


Java: Good enough for the world's largest search engine, but not SpocksEars.
 
2014-05-28 01:35:36 PM  
The site itself is just a few million, but all of the other government sites it has to talk to (though that one big government portal) add up to a lot more, even only counting the custom-written stuff that deals with healthcare.gov requests.

Then, of course, since it's the government, it probably had a half-dozen different software monitoring suites that were each written specifically for this. Heck, it wouldn't surprise me if there was a different custom-written app for each department, so they could hire their own consultants and managers for the long haul.
 
2014-05-28 01:37:32 PM  

baronbloodbath: You know anybody who can network 8 Connection Machines and debug 2 million lines of code for what Obama bid for this job? Because if you can I'd really love to see you try.

[4.bp.blogspot.com image 850x462]


Obama didn't say the magic word so Newman shut down the website on launch
 
2014-05-28 01:38:10 PM  

Gonz: dukeblue219: qorkfiend: Stunning revelation: HealthCare.org has 11 lines of ASP.net code.

I was wondering what the 1 Visual Basic file that has 25 lines of code does that was not worth translating into another language.

That's actually what populates the database. The rest of the site is just window dressing.


No, no. The database is populated by the 8,830 lines of Bourne shell scripting, but it can only be initialized by using the 849 lines of DOS batch to download and install Cygwin.
 
2014-05-28 01:42:31 PM  
Still seems bloated.  Java, while heavy, is generally used so you can rely upon existing classes and structures, rather than write your own.  Seems like they wrote a lot of their own.

Nearly 9000 lines of SQL in 28 files?  I've written 1500 line store procedures, and they get very tiresome.  300 column tables and views?  Pass.

As an engineer with 17 years of experience building portals and other websites, I'd guess I could do it in fewer then 500,000 lines of original code.  Perl/Mod_perl or Python/WSGI on Apache with a PostgresQL backend with a memcache in between would probably do the job.  Front with nginx or mod_backhand.  UI in jQuery or AngularJS, with async AJAX calls for data.  Run it all on an AWS Ubuntu cloud.  Perl for interfacing and scraping of the individual state sites.
 
2014-05-28 01:47:52 PM  
SpocksEars: The article lost me at "mostly Java". Ugh. Why people continue to use that low-performing disease vector is beyond me.

*shrug*, it's easy to write code in.  When it's easy to write code in, you get lots of bad programmers, and lots of terrible code.  Such is the nature of things.
 
2014-05-28 01:48:16 PM  

rlandrum: Still seems bloated.  Java, while heavy, is generally used so you can rely upon existing classes and structures, rather than write your own.  Seems like they wrote a lot of their own.

Nearly 9000 lines of SQL in 28 files?  I've written 1500 line store procedures, and they get very tiresome.  300 column tables and views?  Pass.

As an engineer with 17 years of experience building portals and other websites, I'd guess I could do it in fewer then 500,000 lines of original code.  Perl/Mod_perl or Python/WSGI on Apache with a PostgresQL backend with a memcache in between would probably do the job.  Front with nginx or mod_backhand.  UI in jQuery or AngularJS, with async AJAX calls for data.  Run it all on an AWS Ubuntu cloud.  Perl for interfacing and scraping of the individual state sites.


Likely the government selected the language and platforms because they have to maintain it, and keeping it in java makes it easy to manage long term.  Drop it in perl and you lose a lot of options when you're looking for someone to come in off the street and support it
 
2014-05-28 01:59:43 PM  
bhcompy:
Likely the government selected the language and platforms because they have to maintain it, and keeping it in java makes it easy to manage long term.  Drop it in perl and you lose a lot of options when you're looking for someone to come in off the street and support it

That's plausible.  However, google knows java and perl, so when it comes to "How do I do X in perl", it almost always knows the answer.  I use the same formula for figuring out how to do things in Java, Python, etc.
 
2014-05-28 02:02:20 PM  

bhcompy: rlandrum: Still seems bloated.  Java, while heavy, is generally used so you can rely upon existing classes and structures, rather than write your own.  Seems like they wrote a lot of their own.

Nearly 9000 lines of SQL in 28 files?  I've written 1500 line store procedures, and they get very tiresome.  300 column tables and views?  Pass.

As an engineer with 17 years of experience building portals and other websites, I'd guess I could do it in fewer then 500,000 lines of original code.  Perl/Mod_perl or Python/WSGI on Apache with a PostgresQL backend with a memcache in between would probably do the job.  Front with nginx or mod_backhand.  UI in jQuery or AngularJS, with async AJAX calls for data.  Run it all on an AWS Ubuntu cloud.  Perl for interfacing and scraping of the individual state sites.

Likely the government selected the language and platforms because they have to maintain it, and keeping it in java makes it easy to manage long term.  Drop it in perl and you lose a lot of options when you're looking for someone to come in off the street and support it


I'd agree. A perl backend sounds like a bad idea on something this big and needs to be maintainable. Even Amazon ditched perl a while back. First, mod_perl is a notorious pain in the ass that exposes so much of the stack you can easily hang yourself, I don't care how many cycles you can save on each call. Second, finding someone who knows that much perl is going to land you with someone like me, and I'm an asshole. There's exactly one perl programmer who isn't an asshole, and his name is Larry Wall. And even if you could hire him, you'll be up to your ears in stories about cats and God.
 
2014-05-28 02:08:50 PM  
How about one line?

If HUMAN and BREATHING grant SINGLE-PAYER COVERAGE.

Where's my $100 million dollars?
 
2014-05-28 02:26:48 PM  

qorkfiend: Gonz: dukeblue219: qorkfiend: Stunning revelation: HealthCare.org has 11 lines of ASP.net code.

I was wondering what the 1 Visual Basic file that has 25 lines of code does that was not worth translating into another language.

That's actually what populates the database. The rest of the site is just window dressing.

No, no. The database is populated by the 8,830 lines of Bourne shell scripting, but it can only be initialized by using the 849 lines of DOS batch to download and install Cygwin.


Oh. My bad. Gotta tell you, it would have been handy to have known that before October 1st of last year.
 
2014-05-28 02:35:31 PM  

AngryDragon: How about one line?

If HUMAN and BREATHING grant SINGLE-PAYER COVERAGE.

Where's my $100 million dollars?


probably tied up with BREATHING HUMAN, whoever that is.
 
2014-05-28 02:56:42 PM  
Is it normal to include markup languages and other web files like css and such into an entire application project "lines of code" metric? I've always taken "lines of code" to be, you know, programming code, created by a programmer and not auto generated files built on the fly, some other static junk, or sysadmin tools.

Other crap listed there is maven/ant (build process), bash,python, groovy (dev and sysadmin scripts), sql (reports most likely), etc. Might as well include all the dev, staging and test code while you're at it.
 
2014-05-28 03:03:31 PM  

AngryDragon: How about one line?

If HUMAN and BREATHING grant SINGLE-PAYER COVERAGE.

Where's my $100 million dollars?


.*cough* VA *cough*
 
2014-05-28 03:15:24 PM  

WhackingDay: Is it normal to include markup languages and other web files like css and such into an entire application project "lines of code" metric? I've always taken "lines of code" to be, you know, programming code, created by a programmer and not auto generated files built on the fly, some other static junk, or sysadmin tools.

Other crap listed there is maven/ant (build process), bash,python, groovy (dev and sysadmin scripts), sql (reports most likely), etc. Might as well include all the dev, staging and test code while you're at it.


I wouldn't think so, but even counting all the stuff that might not be typically counted doesn't come close to the first number.
 
2014-05-28 03:29:23 PM  

MrEricSir: SpocksEars: The article lost me at "mostly Java". Ugh. Why people continue to use that low-performing disease vector is beyond me.

Java: Good enough for the world's largest search engine, but not SpocksEars.


Does Google actually use Java for their search engine? I know it's in Android, but even then they use a bastardized (in a good way) implementation of Java by getting rid of the JVM.

Java lost me years ago when I needed support for unsigned integers and read that the language creator didn't want to include unsigned types because, to paraphrase him, most programmers don't know why they use unsigned types. After that, I wondered to myself why I would use Java (other than the fact that boss-man told me I had to for this).
 
2014-05-28 03:37:17 PM  

Gonz: dukeblue219: qorkfiend: Stunning revelation: HealthCare.org has 11 lines of ASP.net code.

I was wondering what the 1 Visual Basic file that has 25 lines of code does that was not worth translating into another language.

That's actually what populates the database. The rest of the site is just window dressing.


No, it's actually an Access database, so they're using VBA for that.  I bet the VB & ASP.Net files are for authentication:

"SELECT * FROM tblUsers WHERE UserName='" & strName & "' AND Pass='" & strPassword & "'"

Really cutting-edge stuff, when you look under the hood.
 
2014-05-28 04:03:02 PM  

rlandrum: bhcompy:
Likely the government selected the language and platforms because they have to maintain it, and keeping it in java makes it easy to manage long term.  Drop it in perl and you lose a lot of options when you're looking for someone to come in off the street and support it

That's plausible.  However, google knows java and perl, so when it comes to "How do I do X in perl", it almost always knows the answer.  I use the same formula for figuring out how to do things in Java, Python, etc.


And that works for small business where they take the IT guy and force him to be a linux administrator and develop internal applications.  Doesn't work for the government.  Gotta submit your process flows, product design documents, proposed changes, rfp analysis, unit testing scripts, acceptance testing scripts, etc before you even touch the code(sometimes even before seeing the code, depending on how thick the bureaucracy is and how dense the project manager is).

/work with government all day as a software vendor
 
2014-05-28 05:07:20 PM  

MyRandomName: AngryDragon: How about one line?

If HUMAN and BREATHING grant SINGLE-PAYER COVERAGE.

Where's my $100 million dollars?

.*cough* VA *cough*


*cough* the rest of the civilized world *cough*
 
2014-05-28 08:39:35 PM  
Healthcare.gov leaves a web developer with two questions:
1) How long did they actually spend building that site?
2) How Can I join the team. Because it's clear the occasional error will be both accepted and praised..


//actually, in fairness to that firm, they were basically ordered to shove the thing out when it was politcally convenient, not when it was actually ready..
 
2014-05-28 11:59:03 PM  
Reminds me of Snowcrash.
 
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